“As I’ve worked with this population [of immigrant families] for almost 15 years now, I constantly meet folks who say, ‘I really wish there was something I could do.’ Yesterday I saw what happens when people just start doing something, and it was amazing.” –Assistant principal at an Arlington, VA school regarding RILA.
Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA), a ministry of Restoration Anglican Church in Arlington, Virginia, is committed to “doing something” for the immigrants in our community by providing excellent, low-cost immigration legal assistance. Since 2016, RILA has served more than 50 clients, most of whom are seeking asylum and have experienced trauma–even life-threatening events–that led to their coming to the United States.
A U.S. DOJ-recognized organization, Restoration hosts monthly legal aid clinics. Clients spend time working with a legal team on their case and receive a meal, child care, interpretation services, and prayer. Our staff also represents clients in court. More than 60 volunteers to date have made this work possible.
Through this ministry, many have had the privilege of “welcoming the stranger,” and others, the privilege of being welcomed. The RILA team is committed to walking alongside immigrant families and advocating on their behalf. Though the stories we hear are heartbreaking, RILA has begun to see some successes. However, we also believe we are successful as we listen well to our clients’ stories and show compassion, in the name and way of Jesus.